Advantages and Disadvantages of Conflict Theory in Education

Advantages and Disadvantages of Conflict Theory in Education

Conflict theory was given by Karl Marx. It focuses on social inequality which causes conflict in society. This theory views society in constant conflict due to differences in powers and resources among different groups which leads to social inequality. Conflict theory states that conflict in a society is inevitable but it ultimately leads to revolution. There exists disagreements in society due to limitation of resources between the more powerful who exploit the resources and the less powerful who are exploited. This as a result creates conflict between the two parties. It looks at life as a continuous struggle between different groups.

Karl Marx said,

“At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or—this merely expresses the same thing in legal terms—with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto. From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into their fetters. Then begins an era of social revolution.”

Karl Marx

Advantages of Conflict Theory 

  • i). Gives an understanding about how power impacts people’s lives. 
  • ii). It focuses on the negative aspects of society too and not only the positive side. 
  • iii). Understand what leads to social inequality among different groups. 
  • iv). Leads to open communication which helps to solve problems quickly and improves interactions. 
  • v). It enables groups and individuals to protect their interests. 
  • vi). Conflicts can lead to the necessary social change and development of society. 

Disadvantages of Conflict Theory 

  • i). It gives excess emphasis to arguments and competition in society.
  • ii). It affects relationships negatively and there does not exist harmony in society. 
  • iii). It ignores the basics of how society functions such as family and education. 
  • iv). It does not focus on individual needs and interests. 
  • v). Emphasis is given on exploitation and oppression.

However, even with its disadvantages conflict theory has proved to be a necessary theory for society.